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Morning Report: Rafael Fiziev calls out Rafael dos Anjos: ‘Let’s find out who is the best Rafa in the UFC’

UFC Fight Night: Riddell v Fiziev Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

In MMA, there are plenty of reasons to fight somebody - you want to be the champion, they said something about your mom, you’re being offered you a boatload of money, or maybe you just plain don’t like them - but there’s another reason that comes up less often but is no less valid: you share the same name. Just take a look at Rafael Fiziev.

Fiziev, the 13th-ranked lightweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, is currently on a five-fight win streak in the UFC and coming off a sensational wheel kick KO over Brad Riddell in December. But despite his high ranking, Fiziev is still not the most well-known Rafael in his own division, with former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos five spots above him in the rankings. And Fiziev is hoping to do something about that. It all started when dos Anjos called out former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson for a rematch in February.

Dos Anjos and Ferguson first fought back in 2016 in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale, with Ferguson winning a unanimous decision. After that loss, dos Anjos moved up to welterweight where he spent the next four years competing before returning to lightweight at the end of 2020 with a win over then-ranked Paul Felder. Despite his successful return to the 155 ranks though, and Ferguson’s own recent struggles in the division (he’s lost three in a row), “El Cucuy” wasn’t willing to commit to running it back with dos Anjos.

But while Ferguson wasn’t willing to give the former champion a firm response, Fiziev had no such qualms, calling for dos Anjos to pursue a new challenge instead of a rematch, and then following that up by demanding dos Anjos face him to determine who is the greatest Rafael in the game.

“Rafa, Rafa, Rafael. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present. Let’s find out who is the best Rafa in the UFC.”

The last time a name was front and center for a fight like this was UFC Fight Night Cowboy vs. Cowboy in 2016, featuring Donald Cerrone taking on Alex Oliveira for the title of who was the best “Cowboy” in MMA. Cerrone won that fight via first-round triangle choke.


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FINAL THOUGHTS

Welcome to 2022, everybody. I hope y’all achieve all of your goals for this year, and for those of you who have already bricked your resolutions, it’s okay. Plenty of time to get back on track still.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who would win the battle of the Rafas?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Dos Anjos
    (113 votes)
  • 77%
    Fiziev
    (385 votes)
498 votes total Vote Now

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